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roanoke virginia

BUZZ Premier Party featuring Roanoke Arts Pop! 900 506 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ Premier Party featuring Roanoke Arts Pop!

Join us for a free special evening that highlights the Roanoke Valley’s arts and cultural organizations that collaborated March 4-6 for the amazing ROANOKE ARTS POP!

BUZZ first featured this arts extravaganza on Feb. 23 on Blue Ridge PBS. In this episode we previewed the weekend-long event coordinated by the Taubman Museum, the nonprofits eager to resume in-person performances and exhibits, and the marketing professionals at LeadPoint Digital who worked to give arts in Roanoke more “buzz.” 

On March 23, we invite you to a community Watch Party when Blue Ridge PBS broadcasts our newest episode showcasing the 32 organizations that participated in Roanoke Arts Pop! 

Watch Party on July 27

  • 6:00 pm – Doors open (beer, wine, soft drinks and concessions available for purchase)
  • 6:30 pm – Encore showing of our Feb. 23 episode
  • 7:00 pm – Blue Ridge PBS premier of our new episode

These two shows are part of a 6-episode series that BUZZ is producing in 2022 – in partnership with the Roanoke Cultural Endowment and City of Roanoke – revolving around a collective arts and cultural marketing initiative for the Roanoke Valley. 

We thank Freedom First Credit Union for helping sponsor these episodes!

BUZZ Episode 17 previews Roanoke Arts Pop 1024 576 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ Episode 17 previews Roanoke Arts Pop

In March 2020, Roanoke Arts Pop! was the last big arts event in Southwest Virginia before Covid shut down the world.

A collaboration between 20+ arts and cultural organizations in the Roanoke Valley, Roanoke Arts Pop! resumes March 4-6, 2022, in downtown Roanoke.

In the first of a 6-part series – a partnership with the Roanoke Cultural Endowment and the City of Roanoke, Virginia – BUZZ previews the weekend-long event coordinated by the Taubman Museum as well as the participating nonprofits eager to resume in-person performances and exhibits, and the marketing professionals at LeadPoint Digital working to give arts in Roanoke more “buzz.”

Starring Center in the Square, Southwest Virginia Ballet, Mill Mountain Zoo, Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir, Salem Museum, Jefferson Center, Mill Mountain Theatre, Opera Roanoke, Virginia Children’s Theatre, Artemis Journal, CommUnity Arts Reach, Local Colors and Fashionista Roanoke.

We thank Freedom First Credit Union for providing sponsorship support of this episode!

BUZZ to Produce 6 Arts & Cultural Episodes in 2022 900 506 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ to Produce 6 Arts & Cultural Episodes in 2022

We are BUZZing about our new partnership with the City of Roanoke and Roanoke Cultural Endowment to produce six episodes in 2022 that feature our region’s arts and culture … and the organizations that make it possible. 

Read the news release issued Feb. 17 by the Roanoke Cultural Endowment.

As BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill shares in the news release: “Our very first BUZZ episode was produced at the start of the pandemic and featured Southwest Virginia Ballet. Given the challenges that permeated our country during this time, the beauty and joy of the ballet’s music and dancers offered comfort. That’s the power of art. We’re honored to share that story and bring more ‘buzz’ to the artists and organizations who provide that to Roanoke.”

The first episode of this 6-part series, airing Feb. 23 on Blue Ridge PBS, showcases how Roanoke’s arts and cultural nonprofits have survived the pandemic, and are now collaborating with the Taubman Museum of Art to present the weekend-long Roanoke Arts Pop! on March 4-6.

LeadPoint Digital, led by BUZZ veteran and AAF Roanoke president Carrie Cousins, works in this episode to give arts in Roanoke more “buzz.”

“12 Buzz4Goods” Song 900 506 Michael Hemphill

“12 Buzz4Goods” Song

Here on the 12th day of Christmas, BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill presents his “12 Buzz4Goods” song!

Here we look back on the 12 nonprofits that have been featured on BUZZ since our debut in August 2020 on Blue Ridge PBS. We also thank our sponsors and the marketing pros who gave these organizations more “buzz.”

And we look ahead to an exciting 2022!

  1. Southwest Virginia Ballet & Carrie Cousins
  2. Healing Strides & 5Points Creative
  3. Mill Mountain Zoo & Wordsprint
  4. RAM House & Wheeler Digital
  5. Eastmont Community Foundation & Wordsprint
  6. Feeding Southwest Virginia & Access
  7. Virginia811 & Carrie Cousins
  8. Giles County & 5Points Creative
  9. Blue Ridge Women’s Center & Wheeler Digital
  10. Christiansburg Institute & Soectrum Media Solutions
  11. Children’s Assistive Technology Service & 5Points Creative
  12. Habitat for Humanity of the New River Valley & 5Points Creative

New Year’s “Sprezzatura” 150 150 Michael Hemphill

New Year’s “Sprezzatura”

I remember very little from my academic life, save the word “sprezzatura” from a Renaissance Literature class at Birmingham-Southern College. 

We were reading “The Book of the Courtier,” published in 1528, by Baldassare Castiglione, who defined the Italian word as “a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.”

While “a certain nonchalance” certainly defined my attitude towards college classes, there seemed to be a distinct lack of sprezzatura once I started my career. 

Through the years, showing “effort” – as I observed in colleagues and, in truth, in myself – seemed much of the job description. The striving, grasping, busybodiness of it all, calculated by meeting minutes, office hours, frantic phone calls, number of emails/texts/posts … the appearance of doing the work was as much the point as the work itself.

Since launching Buzz4Good in 2020,  I’ve seen time and again AAF Roanoke members like Bruce Bryan, Carrie Cousins, Bill Gilmer, Tony Pearman, Theresa Passeretti and William Nelms seemingly effortlessly incorporate pro bono nonprofit projects into their existing workload. 

And I’ve seen nonprofit leaders like Pedro Szalay, Pamela Irvine, Jim Drader, Chris Sanchez, Melissa Woodson and Carol Young calmly execute their organization’s complex missions – whether inspiring art and learning or fighting homelessness, hunger, racism, depression – to better our communities. 

All of this during one of our country’s most challenging times in history.

Here at the end of 2021, I want to thank all who have helped me professionally give flight to Buzz, and for the personal lessons in how to do difficult things with “a certain nonchalance.” 

In an age when grace is in such short supply, I offer up more sprezzatura as a resolution for 2022. Happy New Year’s to you all!

Always buzzing,
Michael Hemphill
Creator of Buzz4Good